Unsurprisingly, small business could not compete with the tax funded recreation center and one has folded. Here is a transcription of the letter to (now former) Xcel Fitness members:
Dear Xcel Fitness Member,
It’s been a thrilling 9 years since we first set up shop here in Bountiful. While many businesses have come and gone, Xcel Fitness’s goal has always been to remain a future of the Bountiful community. On behalf of our entire organization, I regretfully announce that we’ll no longer be doing business as Xcel Fitness effective Oct. 1st, 2007. We thank you for your years of loyalty – it has been a tremendous pleasure to help you achieve your fitness goals. However, I’m excited to announce that we’ve finalized plans to ensure that our fitness members, neighbors and friends continue to be served.
We’ve partnered with Gold’s Gym in an effort to keep the gym at 250 West 1500 South open. On october 2nd, 2007, our doors will re-open and continue doing business as Gold’s Gym. Closing this fitness facility altogether was never an option for me – l love and respect this community too much.
Xcel Fitness has worked hard to always be here for Davis County. l grew up in this community and wanted nothing more than to personally continue my commitment to my friends and neighbors here. We live in an area where two privately run gyms – Xcel Fitness and Gold’s Gym – should be able to thrive. The arrival of the tax-payer funded recreation center has created an unfortunate economic situation where that is no longer possible for each party. Whereas residents of Davis County previously had a choice of facilities they could patronize, now your tax money is funding a recreation center of which you’ll probably never even become a member. This situation made it imperative for the two privately owned fitness centers to come together.
Because of their market penetration and state-wide presence, Gold’s Gym was an obvious choice to continue the legacy of locally owned fitness facilities in Bountiful. Fifteen gyms from Bountiful to St. George are now available to our members. You’ll be able to enjoy amenities such as the new Cardio Cinema, swimming, spas and hot tubs, basketball, racquetball, and a huge variety of free exercise and aerobic classes.
Thank you for your support and patronage. l wish each of you the best of luck with Gold’s Gym, and hope you’ll find a new level of success in your health, fitness and life goals.
Owner of Xcel Fitness
Now there is one less fitness center in the area.
This means an job creator is gone, jobs have been lost and families affected by the decreased income. Additionally, an economic stimulus is gone and the future value and synergistic effects of that money (gyms need supplies, pay rent to the building/development owner, etc) are now also gone and a city has one less source of business tax revenue. All brought to you by government market intrusion.
UPDATE: Looks like Xcel owners Smith and Seljaas played with fire and got burned (City strikes rec center alliance, size limits) (excerpted):
Mayor Joe Johnson announced a new alliance between the private fitness industry and the newly formed South Davis Recreation District at Tuesday night’s council meeting, defusing a central accusation by a local tax-watch group.
“We had a nice discussion,” Johnson said after owners of Xcel, John Smith and Gary Seljaas, approached the city with their concerns with the Bountiful Recreation Center (the South Davis Cities Recreation Center (SDCRC), “and now we’re partners.”
“They said, ‘You can use our experts and expertise with your people,’” Johnson said recalling the meeting. The Xcel trainers will train people on exercise machines and teach fitness techniques. They will also teach classes on nutrition, health and fitness planning and methods.
Not sure if the Xcel people ever did get any work at the Recreation Center. I also wonder if it was legal to seemingly award a ‘no bid’ contract to Xcel to provide trainers?